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Trans Fluid Change


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37 replies to this topic

#21 ONLINE   ptjones

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 10:56 AM

I can't see any reason to check level unless it's leaking fluid, that is the only way it could go down. I have 102k mi. on new trans and it's working great. I do monitor trans fluid temp with ScanGaugeII. :)  Change it at 150k mi.

 

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#22 OFFLINE   MaxHeadroom

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 12:39 PM

ptjones, Yes, maybe no need to worry about checking the level annually as Ford wants. Mercon LV is red, making it kinda easy to spot seeping out from the seals I'd assume.

What's the hottest temperature you've ever seen on the the ScanGauge? I've got an app on my phone and with a bluetooth OBDII port adaptor, etc., to take a look at temperatures. I could hit it hard going up some mountains in some warm ambient temperatures and see what temperatures I see.
I want to establish a baseline maximum acceptable temperature, of course below where the sensor warning happens.

#23 ONLINE   ptjones

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 01:13 PM

I think 194*F is the highest with Grill Cover on, If you don't have Grill Covers I can't see where TFT would get above maybe 170-180*F without them. If It did I would start wondering if there was a problem. :)

 

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#24 OFFLINE   Plus 3 Golfer

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 12:53 PM

Agree with Paul on TFT based on my observations.  176F is the highest I recall seeing with no grille covers.  In normal driving, TFT is around 30F lower than ECT.  TFT increases during regeneration due to heat losses from the traction motor and no TF circulation to the cooler because ICE is not spinning.


Edited by Plus 3 Golfer, 30 June 2018 - 12:55 PM.


#25 ONLINE   ptjones

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 01:58 PM

I also noticed this and I think if the trans pump ran all the time the TFT would be lower.  My temps are higher partially caused from having higher EV % which means the Trans Pump is running less of the time. :)

 

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#26 OFFLINE   MaxHeadroom

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Posted 04 July 2018 - 08:33 PM

ptjones and Plus 3 Golfer really know their C-Maxes! I used a FORScan phone app with an ELM327 Bluetooth connection to read a maximum observed transmissin fluid temperature of 179 F, about matching their temperatures.
One can conclude that transmission fluid is full enough in there based on temperature,  I'm convinced, since low fluid means your temperatures will get high.

 

I was changing the oil yesterday (Pennzoil Platinum 0w20 with a MicroGreen oil filter) at the 65,000 mile point, with a tire rotation, and curiosity got the better of me.

After I took the left front wheel off, I noticed the transmission level plug bolt just staring at me, calling my name, daring me to check the level.  

 

I then wrenched the level plug off, quite easily, very low torque, as if it was barely on there, with the car level since the entire car was on jack stands.

No evidence of the red fluid leaking out anywhere, good news.

No fluid came out of the level plug, which is OK, and the ambient temperature was about 100 F (drove it earlier; and hot summer day), close to the 40 C temperature to check the level at.

 

Was it low a bit?  I drained it out and got 3.5 quarts out, which is short of the spec (Owner's Manual) capacity of 4.8 quarts.  A youtube video showed somebody got 4.2 qts out by comparison.....  I had the level plug open to let air in as I drained it out to help some.    .....OK, some may be stuck in there, unavailable, or maybe the factory underfilled by a little.  (I wonder if the factory procedures actually top it off after driving it a few minutes to get the air out of the internal volume.???)

Actually underfilling may have very little detrimental effect, since my observed FORScan temperature was 179 F in some hot-ish driving, nothing bad there.  I'll bet there is some tolerance to over-or-under-filling the thing.  As long as some is in there hitting the planetary gearset teeth, etc., then its lubed at least.

 

Anyway, a small amount of RTV silicone sealant on the drain plug threads and I carefully allen-wrenched the small non-magnetic drain plug back in.

There are a number of after-market Mercon LV type bottles available, but I decided to stick with exactly Motorcraft Mercon LV per spec, since I might be mixing some of the old Mercon LV in there with new Mercon LV and want full chemical and seal-swell compatibility guaranteed.

 

I'll fill it tomorrow probably, and am anxious to see how much fluid it takes back.  I'll do the minute driving thing to get it all circulated and then top it off again.


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#27 OFFLINE   MaxHeadroom

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 06:10 PM

I just checked, and noticed the 2013 C-Max owner's manual lists the transmission fluid capacity at 5.7 quarts, and the 2015 at 4.8 quarts, a difference which would explain why I drained out 3.5 quarts but the other reports from others here were more (ranged from 4.2 qts drained to 5 or so, on earlier 2013 models).

Maybe just getting out 3.5 quarts on mine isn't too unusual for a 2015 model.

 

However, after buying exactly 4 quarts of Motorcraft Mercon LV, I just put in 4 quarts, and it didn't fill it up!!!  I thought it would, since I drained out 3.5 quarts.  It was not full before I drained, and it still isn't quite full I guess. .... Temperature was about 80 degrees F, which is within the range of 68 deg F to 104 deg F as the desired fill temperature.

I'll let everything flow around in there for a while and check it & top it off later. 

 

I figure I have more than what Ford gave me at the factory anyway!!! (no leaks, really clean all around the seams and all bolts, so I blame the factory knuckleheads for underfilling it).  As mentioned earlier, transmission fluid temperature was observed to be 179 deg F in a hot-ish long trip with the old factory fill load, so its carrying away enough heat even running a bit low, and its got more in there now.  Proving that its not really that sensitive to being a quart or more low.

 

Little note about how to get fresh fluid in there:  I don't think you have to use plastic tubing like others have used on this task.  I just literally stuck a bottle tip in the Level Plug hole and squirted it all in, squeezing and mangling a differential oil container, but it worked fine with very little spillage (like only drops spilled).  .... I took the front driver side tire off (with the entire car on jack stands for leveling the whole body), removed the Level Plug (easy), and jammed the differential fluid bottle in there, with of course Mercon LV put inside the diff bottle.  (Do remember to empty any oil out of the differential oil bottle, and only use Mercon LV)

Here is the bottle I used:

syntecgearoil75w901qt.jpg


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#28 OFFLINE   Plus 3 Golfer

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 09:30 AM

I have a 2014 Service Manual (dated January 2014) which shows dry fill capacity as 5.7 quarts which is consistent with the Owners Manual.  It would be interesting to know what the 2015 Service Manual says.  Maybe the 5.7 also includes the fluid in the cooler and lines and the 4.8 only includes the transmission.



#29 ONLINE   ptjones

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 04:04 PM

I have a 2014 Service Manual (dated January 2014) which shows dry fill capacity as 5.7 quarts which is consistent with the Owners Manual.  It would be interesting to know what the 2015 Service Manual says.  Maybe the 5.7 also includes the fluid in the cooler and lines and the 4.8 only includes the transmission.

I'm guessing you are right, it would be difficult to get all the oil out. :)

 

Paul



#30 OFFLINE   MaxHeadroom

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 04:06 PM

I have a 2014 Service Manual (dated January 2014) which shows dry fill capacity as 5.7 quarts which is consistent with the Owners Manual.  It would be interesting to know what the 2015 Service Manual says.  Maybe the 5.7 also includes the fluid in the cooler and lines and the 4.8 only includes the transmission.

I checked both manuals (PDF files on the web), and Ford did make a funny change from 2013 to 2015 models.  2015 says 4.8 qts, and 2013 says 5.7, which is actually consistent with how much I drained out of my 2015-model vs. others who have reported on 2013-model drains.  The 2013 drains have been about a quart higher than what I drained out.   Maybe they changed a part somewhere, a casting, something internal, which changes the fluid capacity(??).  Dunno.

I put in about 1 quart less than stated official capacity, so I guess with what old fluid was stuck in there, I'm at least very close to full.  I'll check & top off later of course.



#31 OFFLINE   cmax-nynj

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 09:37 PM

How did you clean the gear oil out from the bottle?


Edited by cmax-nynj, 06 July 2018 - 09:37 PM.

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#32 OFFLINE   obob

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 02:14 AM

How did you clean the gear oil out from the bottle?

 

I was thinking maybe a mustard/ketchup dispenser might work.

 

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#33 OFFLINE   MaxHeadroom

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 07:56 PM

I recommend to anyone who has a C-Max to at least top it off after its a year old or so.  I still suspect the factory workers under-filled mine a bit. 

Certainly check for red fluid leaks underneath every time you change the oil and have the lower ground shield thingie off.

 

Then, changing it is so easy that you can replace whatever drains out every 100,000 miles instead of going 150,000 miles with a double-flush.  The idea is to replace the extreme-pressure (EP) additives in there as they age and chemically break down, and a big gulp of fresh fluid every 100,000 miles keeps those anti-wear addtives replaced nicely.

 

cmax-nynj:  On cleaning out the gear oil container before putting in Mercon LV, I don't think you have to.  About a half teaspon remains stuck in the bottle, not much.   

 

obob:   Mustard-Ketchup bottle would work, except I noticed the gear oil bottle was very flexible and tough, allowing one to get it empty without too much trouble.

A Mustard-Ketchup bottle might be too rigid(??).  ... Anything with a good pointed tip should be OK I guess.  You can still attach a small tube on the tip that fits in the Level Plug hole if you want to.

 

So far, I think I have noticed cooler transmission fluid temperature (TFT), by about 5 degrees or so cooler, as far as I can tell.  

Therefore, 5 degrees is about the difference 4 quarts put in to replace 3.5 quarts drained.  Likely the factory never filled it up all the way, but I guess a few degrees difference doesn't mean much.


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#34 OFFLINE   cmax-nynj

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 09:36 AM

Thanks for the information.  I took out the left wheel but I couldn't locate the middle check/fill plug.  A picture or guidance would be helpful.


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#35 OFFLINE   Plus 3 Golfer

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 12:22 PM

Thanks for the information.  I took out the left wheel but I couldn't locate the middle check/fill plug.  A picture or guidance would be helpful.

Attached File  Fill Plug.JPG   44.19KB   0 downloads


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#36 OFFLINE   cmax-nynj

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 12:27 PM

Thank you.  this even shows the torque spec which seems minimal



#37 OFFLINE   MaxHeadroom

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Posted 16 July 2018 - 09:07 PM

Thank you.  this even shows the torque spec which seems minimal

That picture doesn't show it as a hexagonal head bolt which it is, but its in the right position. ... Also, it has a small plastic washer which you can add a very thin layer of RTV sealant to for extra sealing when you tighten it down.  



#38 OFFLINE   cmax-nynj

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Posted 17 July 2018 - 07:54 AM

Thanks, I was able to find it easily. I think I can use a large syringe and insert fluid; or use a transmission funnel with a tubing.








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